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14 November 2023, 22:30

Tavernier Blue Diamond: is it possible to solve the mystery of the gemstone?

Tavernier Blue Diamond: is it possible to solve the mystery of the gemstone?
Known for its deep blue hue and astounding size, this diamond has crossed continents and centuries, captivating the imagination of those who have witnessed its brilliance.

The Tavernier Blue Diamond, also known as the French Blue, comes from the Kollur mines. Discovered in the 17th century by French gem dealer Jean-Baptiste Tavernier.
Photo source: Smithsonian Libraries and Archives
Photo source: Smithsonian Libraries and Archives
Tavernier's numerous travels led him to India, where he acquired a magnificent blue diamond. The stone is considered one of the largest blue diamonds ever found. It was believed that this stone was purchased much cheaper because of its color: the ruling dynasty preferred red, green and white colors, and considered blue ones not worth attention.
Photo source: National Museum of Natural History
Photo source: National Museum of Natural History
Tavernier eventually sold the diamond to King Louis XIV of France in 1669, beginning a new chapter for the magical gem. The stone was first exhibited in the Saint-Germain Palace, and a few years after its acquisition, the king decided that it would look more spectacular if it was cut.

The cutting was entrusted to the jeweler Jean Pittan, who divided the stone into parts. He spent several years developing the shape of the 69-carat main stone, which had 72 facets. In this form it was known as the "Blue Frenchman".
Photo source: Smithsonian Libraries and Archives
Photo source: Smithsonian Libraries and Archives
Already during the reign of Louis XV, the stone adorned the royal pendant with the Order of the Golden Fleece. The decoration was stolen during the revolutionary unrest. This fate befell the vast majority of the crown jewels.

In the first quarter of the 19th century, a dark blue diamond surfaced in London, matching the description of the “French Blue.” It was discovered that the stone had been cut, which reduced its size. Its new owner was a member of a family of famous bankers, a lover and collector of jewelry of unusual colors, Henry Philip Hope. It is to him that the diamond owes its current name: the Hope Diamond.
Photo source: Smithsonian Libraries and Archives
Photo source: Smithsonian Libraries and Archives
After lengthy travels, secrets and scandals, in 1958 the stone ended up in the Smithsonian Institution. Its exquisite beauty continues to delight visitors from all over the world, allowing them to marvel at the unique history and mystery of this jewel.

Source: si.edu

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